Twelve unemployed young people who completed The Prince’s Trust Get into Woodlands programme were presented with certificates of achievement at the Duchy of Cornwall’s Herefordshire Estate. Senior Herefordshire Freemasons were invited to attend the presentation.
The Prince’s Trust Programme Executives, Paul Beesley and Rachel Edwards, emphasised that Get into Woodlands gives unemployed young people aged between 16 and 25 confidence, motivation and skills in forestry. The young people gained the qualifications they need to work in forestry, as well practical experience in coppicing, horse logging, tree planting and harvesting.
This programme, linked with Hereford College of Technology and Holme Lacy College, is sponsored by MVision Private Equity, with additional financial support provided by Herefordshire Freemasons.
Last year the Trust supported over 5,000 young people across the West Midlands, helping to give them the skills and confidence to find a job. Three in four young people supported by the youth charity move into work, education or training. Following the programme, participants are given six months support to help them into employment or further training.
The senior Herefordshire Freemasons attending the presentation, Rodney Smallwood and Mike Roff, welcomed meeting all participants, especially Kelly Hallworth who was a participant on last year’s programme and is now a full-time member of The Prince’s Trust team at Dewsall.
A grant of £5,000 from the Freemasons’ Grand Charity has been allocated to support HRH The Prince of Wales forestry scheme for unemployed youths in Herefordshire, representing part of a grand total of £250,000 made this year to The Prince’s Trust for England and Wales.
The donation was presented to Lisa Barea, The Prince’s Trust Fundraiser for the West Midlands, by Rodney Smallwood, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire.
The grant will specifically support the Get into Woodlands course proposed to take place during March-April 2013 on the Duchy of Cornwall’s Herefordshire estate. The aim of the course is to give young people who are work-ready, but lacking vocational skills, a mixture of practical training and hands-on experience, that will enable them to get qualifications and employment in the woodland forestry sector.
The course, to be run by a range of local partners including Duchy of Cornwall, Forestry Commission, and Herefordshire College of Technology jointly with Holme Lacy, will support twelve young people between the ages 16 to 25, developing their confidence, motivation and skills in forestry.
Lisa Barea sincerely thanked Rodney Smallwood for the generous support given by Freemasons, and invited local masons to the 2013 presentation to be held at the completion of the Get into Woodlands course.
At the annual meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Herefordshire, Rodney Smallwood, Provincial Grand Master, presented Midlands Air Ambulance with grants totalling in excess of £50,000. This represented money raised and given by local Freemasons over a three year period.
An additional £12,000 was also presented to Midlands Air Ambulance by the Provincial Grand Masters of Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, on behalf of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity. This donation is part of over £1 million donated by the Grand Charity since 2007 to air ambulances and similar rescue charities throughout England and Wales to support them in the delivery of their life-saving services.
Annie Newell, Fundraising Manager for Midlands Air Ambulance, on receiving these donations, expressed her sincere gratitude for the commitment, and generous support given to the charity by Freemasons over the years.
Rodney Smallwood emphasised how “Midlands Air Ambulance plays a vital role in our rural community, and without either government or National Lottery funding, their services are in need of support. Helping local projects and such services, is important to Freemasons as these donations demonstrate. It is with a sense of pride that the masonic Square & Compass logo is displayed on the tail fins of the three distinctively coloured red and yellow Midlands Air Ambulance helicopters as they take to the air on their mercy missions.”
'Gypsy' is the 20 year old horse supported by the Herefordshire Freemasons at the Riding for the Disabled Association's Herefordshire riding school at Holme Lacy. When competing at the National Dressage Centre Hartpury College in Gloucester, it goes under it's full name of 'Hereford Masons Gypsy'.
In presenting the annual donation to the Janet Alderton, Centre Manager, Rodney Smallwood, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, again praised the RDA for its wonderful and significant work with the disabled, and paid tribute to the 130 volunteers involved.
Rodney Smallwood was informed that there would shortly be an addition to the 14 horses in the stables at Holme Lacy: a sponsored mechanical horse was soon to be installed which would enhance the flexibility of exercise and experience possible for those who use the service, whose ages range from 2 to that of 90 years old.
In the winter sunshine, a donation of £2,772 was presented to St Michael’s Hospice as part of the continuing annual programme of support awarded by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity to hospice services throughout England and Wales. Freemasons have a long tradition of funding adult and children’s hospices, with the Grand Charity donating £9.3 million since 1984.
This ongoing support is of special significance to St Michael’s Hospice, Bartestree, as it continues to raise much needed awareness of the planned refurbishment and re-development of the Hospice which will maintain the Hospice’s national and international recognition as a provider of Specialist Palliative Care, and regional centre of excellence in the delivery of Palliative Care Education.
Individual Masonic Lodges in the Province of Herefordshire give additional support to St Michael’s Hospice throughout the year following the example and wishes of Right Worshipful Brother Rodney Smallwood, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire.
With only 10% of its expenditure received from the Primary Care Trust, St Michael’s Hospice has to raise over £3.5 million annually through charitable giving. Such is the responsibility of Ruth Denison, Head of Fundraising, and Chief Executive Nicky West.
Over the past decade Herefordshire Freemasons have sponsored a named horse at Holme Lacy Riding for the Disabled Centre. One such horse was aptly called Mason.
Gypsy is today’s current horse, which will soon be travelling with Instructor Helen Powell, to compete in the National Dressage Competition at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire.
Janet Alderton, Centre Manager at Holme Lacy, is particularly enthusiastic about the suitability of this year’s entry at Hartpury which will be entered under the official title of Hereford Masons Gypsy.
A trial canter on Gypsy under the instruction of Helen Powell was undertaken by Rodney Smallwood, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, who promised his members’ continued support of Riding for the Disabled in Herefordshire.
Rodney Smallwood, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire is piloting the county’s Masons in a sustained and dedicated programme of support for Midlands Air Ambulance.
At a recent meeting with Annie Newell Community Liaison Officer at Midlands Air Ambulance base at Strensham, Rodney Smallwood presented a donation of £25,000.
An annual national grant, this year totalling £192,000 from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity which is distributed countrywide, formed part of this local donation, with the remaining £21,000 being the amount raised for the Air Ambulance within Herefordshire’s Masonic Lodges.
Such continued support over the years, both nationally and locally, has been acknowledged by Midlands Air Ambulance with the display of the Masonic Square & Compass logo on the tail fin of their three distinctly coloured helicopters.
Rodney Smallwood praised Midlands Air Ambulance staff for their dedication and expertise, and these sentiments were echoed by the Provincial Grand Masters of Gloucestershire, R W Bro Adrian Davies, and Worcestershire R W Bro Richard Goddard, both present on this occasion, who also presented donations to the Air Ambulance.